For historians it seems that peace is an interval between wars, rather than war is an inverval between peaces (Gittings 2016). Likewise in the social sciences there seems to be more fascination for conflict analysis than for peace analysis (Wiberg 1981). Dimensions of living together peacefully are often depicted or perceived as unexciting or monotonous, whereas fighting and revenge are perceived as dynamic and analytically interesting. Negative peace, which is defined through the absense of war, determines peace studies, whereas positive peace focuses on transformation processes and every day practices that can determine, secure and fill times of peace with new meaning. Anthropology with its attention on every day phenomena, cultural and region-specific conditions and local knowledge is well suited to reveal structures and dynamics of a peaceful living together of groups and individuals.
We aim at balancing peace and conflict studies in our seminars on peace studies and by supporting BA and MA theses in the field of peace studies in anthropology.
- Gittings, John 2016. “Peace in History”. In Oliver Richmond, Sandra Pagodda and Jasmin Ramovic (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Disciplinary and Regional Approaches to Peace. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 21-31.
- Wiberg H 1981. “JPR 1964-1908 – what have we learned about peace”, Journal of Peace Research XVIII(2): 111–148.